Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘lists’

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More on 20 Under 40 (and one over 80!)

The response to The New Yorker‘s “20 Under 40” list continues. Dan Wickett and Steven Gillis, co-founders of indie, non-profit publisher Dzanc Books, polled “nearly 100 independent publishers, agents, editors, bloggers and reviewers” to compile an alternate “20 to Watch” list—with no age limit: As the staff of The New Yorker went to the sources they knew best when creating their list, and most of the authors they reviewed have either been published in The New Yorker or with major New York publishing houses, so we focused on writers publishing with independent houses. We realize that our list reflects its […]


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More on the "Young" Writer

The publication of the New Yorker‘s “20 Under 40” list caused quite a stir in the literary world recently. Partly, this was because such a list, issued with such authority from such an authority, raises particular expectations. But it was also partly because of the emphasis on “young” writers. In fact, as we previously mentioned, one blog, Ward Six, was so fed up with the “Under 40” list that it offered its own list of writers over 80. But in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Sam Tanenhaus takes a different perspective, pointing out that “the emphasis on futurity […]


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20 Under 40, 10 Over 80, and 20 More Under 40 (40 Years Ago)

Time for age-based writer lists! First up: The New Yorker names its list of “20 under 40” list of fiction writers worth watching. The last such list was compiled in 1999 and included Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Diaz, and David Foster Wallace; the current list includes Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, Joshua Ferris, Salvatore Scibona, and Wells Tower, among many others. Yes, all of them were born in 1970 or later. If that bothers you, move on to list #2: Ward Six counters the New Yorker list with a list of “10 Great Writers Over 80,” praising John Barth, Beverly Cleary, Harper Lee, […]


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summer reading

The Guardian, true to its list-loving proclivities, offers “Text on the Beach,” the 50 “best summer reads” of all time. Which ones did they miss? I’d add The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Michael Chabon) and Sag Harbor (Colson Whitehead). Or Goodbye, Columbus (Philip Roth), paired with essays by Mary McCarthy. For a real scorcher? Dante’s Inferno.



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